Ten days to be exact from today and the planet Earth will witness its final, chilling end on December 21, or at least that's what Mayan doomsday cultists say. The world's getting fidgety. France's Bugarach Mountain, said to be a refuge from the impending end-of-day scenario, is slowly gearing up to seal off its environment from the outside world. In lieu of that, focus has now been turned towards Serbia's Mount Rtanj which according to cultists could be a second sanctuary from the onslaught.
The pyramid-shaped Mount Rtanj is now hogging its own share of the limelight in the Mayan doomsday countdown after owners of hotels surrounding the mountain, located in the east of the Balkan country, reported receiving an unusual influx of guest bookings during the past few days.
"In one day we had 500 people trying to book rooms. People want to bring their whole families," Obrad Blecic, a hotel manager, told The Telegraph.
The 5,100ft-high mountain, according to Mayan doomsday cultists, possess special mystical powers which could protect them from the impending Armageddon, The Telegraph report said.
Mount Rtanj has been described by Arthur C Clarke, the British science fiction writer, as "the navel of the world" holding some "special energy."
Hotel owners next to Mount Rtanj disclosed that the cultists, as they witness the world end on December 21, will wait out holed inside a giant safe room within the mountain where they believe there are buildings constructed long ago by aliens in preparation for the supposed end of the world.
Scholars of the Mayan civilisation, and even the Mayans themselves, have debunked such end of the world claims. The current brouhaha was all but the result of a wrong interpretation on the 5,125-year-old calendar of the ancient Mayans, they said.
"The best thing about this 2012 nonsense is it creates interest in the Mayan people," Mark Van Stone, a professor and art historian in the School of Arts & Communication, told City News Service. "People can go down there and see what the Maya are really like."
Mr Van Stone said the ancient Mayan text has been misinterpreted by German scientists years ago, so much so that its' expiration this month heralds the world's obliteration.
Also called a Bak'tun cycle, the 5,125-year Mayan calendar cycle, "goes around and around," Mr Van Stone said. It doesn't appear to end, he added, noting the Mayans know they would still be celebrating their king in 4772 AD, which is well 2,760 years after the year 2012.